Things have gotten pretty grim around here. Unemployment is down, the federal budget deficit is shrinking, and Obamacare is working. Oh, and Hillary may be running for president in 2016.
What's to be done?
The answer: Benghazi.
While even Kentucky has failed to buy into the evils of the Affordable Care Act, here in South Carolina you can't hardly say a friendly hello before someone tells you about that bad old Obamacare. That's the result of the never-ending republican election strategy. Years of repeating the same lies about the ACA, the "death panels," the threats of losing your favorite docs, socialism and government control, long lines and higher prices. All that repetition actually works, especially when you have an uninformed middle class that has been hit hard in the economy. It has gotten my fellow South Carolinians as fired up and ready to go as any Obama oratory.
And while they were hyping the evils of health care for all for the hurting middle class, they got the religious right cranked up with regularly scheduled anti-abortion votes in the House of Representatives. In 2011, they introduced 44 anti-abortion bills. Of course, there was no chance of getting them passed, but if the GOP understands anything it is how to get their base riled up -- and by the way, distracting us all from unemployment and corporate (and Wall Street) crime.
After the horrific shooting of twenty children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, in December of 2012, to our amazement, the republican party turned its attention to increasing the freedom of gun owners to bear weapons. This became the cause that fired up the paranoid redneck population which has resulted in state laws permitting guns in bars and restaurants here in SC, to Georgia, which now has a "guns everywhere" law that "guards against tyranny." Except, of course, for the tyranny of those nuts with deadly weapons.
So is it any surprise that those far thinking right wingnuts should be setting their sights (as in cross-hairs) on Hillary, who was in charge during the Benghazi attack? If they can get their uninformed but flammable constituents to parrot the word "Benghazi" the way they have for "Obamacare" they will be well on their way to a strategy for 2016.
It would do us well to recall, however, that this strategy has not worked so well against Barack Obama. They tried it when he was candidate Obama, and for a couple of years thereafter, with the Kenya birth certificate nonsense.
And since then, regardless what new conspiracy the right wing is pushing, Obama has moved forward. In fact, in the Senate in 2012 the Democrats picked up two seats. Had it not been for the nefarious redistricting done after the last census, Democrats would have won House seats, having won a nation-wide plurality in all House elections.
I don't think Hillary is quaking in her boots over Benghazi. The shame is that one of South Carolina's own is proudly chairing the committee to perpetuate the question of whether Benghazi can lead to republican victories in 2014 and 2016. Has the country not laughed at us enough? I admit, I will miss the bizarre rages of Darrell Issa but I am confident that he will have plenty more conspiracy theories with which to waste time.
The further shame is that people who don't know or care where Benghazi is, people who waved the American flag in support of the Bush administration lies that led to the war that resulted in so many deaths, are pretending to really care about the four American fatalities in the Benghazi attack.
Since the only alternative to conspiracy theories, however, is to talk about issues like the economy, corporate greed, and the environment, you can rest assured that in these parts you won't be able to swing a dead cat without hitting someone muttering about Benghazi, at least through the next couple of elections.